Cablegate: South and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Nato Role,
DE RUEHSO #1005 2611830
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 181830Z SEP 06
FM AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 5780
INFO RHEHNSC/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 6838
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO PRIORITY 7438
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC 2572
UNCLAS SAO PAULO 001005
STATE INR/R/MR; IIP/R/MR; WHA/PD
DEPT PASS USTR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KMDR OPRC OIIP ETRD BR
SUBJECT: SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA: AFGHANISTAN, NATO ROLE,
ANTI-TALIBAN OFFENSIVE; POPE'S STATEMENT ON MUSLINS; WESTERN
HEMISPHERE: US ACTIONS IN PARAGUAY; SAO PAULO
1. "Relapse In Afghanistan"
Leading national circulation daily liberal Folha de S. Paulo
editorialized (9/18): "Compared with Iraq, Afghanistan is a kind of
garden of delights. The US intervention was successful. The hated
Taliban regime was deposed and replaced by a government that
acquired legitimacy through democratic elections. Unfortunately
there are signs that the situation is also deteriorating in
Afghanistan.... The main reason to explain Taliban's regrowth is the
weakness of Hamid Karzai's government, which even being supported by
NATO troops has failed to impose its authority outside Kabul. The
responsibility is largely attributed to Western nations, which did
not deploy enough soldiers. Taliban is still not popular in the
South, where it imposes itself by fear. The situation, however, may
be changed especially if NATO continues acting with rigor in actions
against the militias. Bombs missing the target have devastated the
prestige of the Karzai government. If the US and its allies fail to
correct the mistakes, they will run the risk of being involved in a
quagmire not only in Iraq, but also in Afghanistan."
2. "Mohammed's Sword"
Leading national circulation daily liberal Folha de S. Paulo (9/16)
editorialized: "Like anyone else, the Pope has the right to say
whatever he thinks. Likewise, Muslims who feel insulted by the
pontiff's words have the right to question him. What is not
acceptable is that a legitimate protest deteriorates into violence.
In regards to the merit of the question, none of the parties seem to
be exempt from any sin so as to be able to throw the first stone.
Joseph Ratzinger's speech was not aimed at rousing the Arabs' anger,
but rather at inviting Islam for an inter-religious dialogue. The
paradox begins here. It's hard to believe that a public and
experienced man like any pope should be has inadvertently used
politically incorrect citations.... But it is unquestionable that
Islam historically expanded itself using violence and obtained
conversions by means of the scimitar's edge. Incidentally, this is a
point that approximates Islam and Christianism, especially
Catholicism.... This additional misunderstanding between the
Catholics' leader and Muslim groups shows how much the
inter-religious dialogue must evolve."
3. "Another Battlefront"
Leading national circulation daily liberal Folha de S. Paulo's
political columnist Eliane Cantanhede commented (9/17): "As a result
of developments involving Hugo Chavez's Venezuela, Evo Morales'
Bolivia and Nestor Kirchner's Argentina, Brazil has not paid
sufficient attention to its backyard, i.e., its neighbor Paraguay.
As a result, the US has not lost time and has already set a foot in
Colombia and is stepping another one in Paraguay. The difference is
that the Colombian base is military and justified by the fight
against drug trafficking. The recently created base in Paraguay is
involved in civic and social actions and follows the Cuban
occupation strategy: through medical doctors, dentists, vaccines and
medicines. President Nicanor Duarte is not a fool. He shoots aiming
at every direction, sometimes flirting, sometimes explicitly
blackmailing. And he has succeeded in attracting the US attention,
provoking Brazil and allying with Venezuela.... The same
anti-imperialistic feeling shown by some Brazilian sectors regarding
the US is disseminated in the Paraguayan society in regards to
Brazil.... Brazil and Argentina have just agreed to create a
cooperation fund aimed at developing Mercosul's minor partners -
Paraguay and Uruguay - that can be seen as an effort to recover both
nations from Uncle Sam's benevolent claws."